Sunday, January 13, 2013

last-hurrah meals

At the end of the month, on January 31, I plan to switch over to a "Taubesian" diet regime. To that end, I've promised myself that I'll purchase a spiral slicer so that I can make vegetable pasta, because God knows I'll be craving some sort of pasta while I'm shunning the carbs. My two best bets, pasta-wise, are zucchini and butternut squash, neither of which has a high carb count even in large volumes. The Taubesian regime, like the Atkins Diet, requires not going over 30 grams of carbs per day. This is going to be painful: the last time I seriously attempted the Atkins Diet, I ended up depressed, and after a mere two weeks I backslid. My inner beasts, Sloth and Gluttony, are powerful-- very difficult to master.

And like Dr. Hodges's main character in his The Bottomless Bottle of Beer, who wants one last drink before going on the wagon, I want one last, carb-filled hurrah before I shun carbs for the long term.

So... what to eat?

I've become a huge fan of Foster's Grille, a local burger joint that serves a fantastic "charburger" and fried-chicken sandwich. Slap some bacon, lettuce, tomato, and mayo on those bad boys, and I'm a happy, happy man. I was also shocked to discover the new, renovated Joe's Steakhouse, also in town. It's pricey, but definitely worth my while. I'm also a diehard fan of the Maggiano's Italian ristorante chain; big food, bold taste, great quality. The closest establishment is in Tysons Corner, Virginia, over an hour away. In the town where I work, 40 minutes from my residence in Appalachia, there's my newest love, the Bonefish Grill, which I now know-- thanks to a recent visit there with Dr. Steve-- serves a great ceviche along with a memorable crab-and-corn chowder.

A last hurrah wouldn't be complete without talking about desserts-- undoubtedly the thing I'll be missing the most once I embark on this diet. A few desserts on which I'd like to gorge myself:

1. chocolate mousse
2. Bennigan's Death by Chocolate (I'll probably have to make this myself)
3. banana creme pie
4. Wegmans apple pie
5. Lindor truffles
6. a baked Alaska (haven't had one in literally decades)
7. a simple baguette with butter and Nutella

So! I have my bucket list. From now until the end of January, I guess I've got my work cut out for me. (Oh, and I can't forget my love of fruit juice.)



Aaron said...

Craving pasta without the, um, pasta? Substitute baked spaghetti squash for the noodles and make your sauce pretty much as before. Just ate this last night and it's always one of my favorites. Also, try substituting eggplant for the crust in pizza.

Kevin Kim said...

Just read up on spaghetti squash. So it flakes into "noodles" when baked or otherwise cooked, eh? No need for a spiral slicer?

Horace Jeffery Hodges said...

Be wary of contracts with Mr. Em . . .

Jeffery Hodges

* * *

Aaron said...

Yup. Slice it in half lengthwise, clean out the seeds and other innards, and then bake it for an hour or so at 375 degrees (or microwave it for faster results). Then use a clawed spoon or fork to scrape up the noodle-like guts. I then just serve the sauce straight inside shell itself. I've actually come to prefer this to spaghetti with actual noodles.

I'd say hold off on the spiral slicer until you see what you can do with a good ol' fashioned knife.

The Maximum Leader said...

Damn. Beaten to the punch. We get spaghetti squash all the time.

Kevin Kim said...


One anagram for "Faland Em" is "A damn elf."


Great minds stink alike.



Charles said...

Ah, I was just going to come in here and mention spaghetti squash! They don't have it in Korea, but my family back in the States eats it a lot. Even though I'm not the biggest fan of squash, it's actually quite nice. They like to bake it in a casserole with tomato sauce and a topping of mozzarella.

I wish you the best of luck with the diet, man. I'm not sure how I could live without carbs... I love my bread and pasta too much (although health concerns may necessity a cut-back in the future...).

John said...

Good luck, Kevin! I won't be too far behind you. Going to wait until I get back to the USA before attempting this. I hope you will be posting some great new low-carb recipes along the way. You might also consider posting weekly updates on your progress. We can cheer you on and it might provide a little extra motivation along the way.


Sperwer said...

I like Taubes and generally find him persuasive, but his diet advice is less compelling. 30 grams of carbs a day is OK, if all you plan to do is breathe. If you plan to do any mental work or physical exercise, it's a problem. Better to bump up the number - but only with some additional carbs that are non-processed and very low glycemic - and get some serious exercise if you're worried about carb conversion to fat. Good luck!

Horace Jeffery Hodges said...

"One anagram for 'Faland Em' is 'A damn elf.'"

Oh my god! You've cracked the code!

Jeffery Hodges

* * *